Dr. Anna Kotsalo-Mustonen
Founder, Board member BSAG – Baltic Sea Action Group/Foundation for a Living Baltic Sea
Dr. Anna Kotsalo-Mustonen has a versatile experience from business, research, consulting and NGO operation for over 30 years.
A thread that runs throughout all her doings can be described as a passion to act at new frontiers and an ability and drive to innovate better ways to operate. The jobs she has held have covered Marketing and Sales, Innovative use of IT, Business Development, Knowledge Management, Globalization, Weak Signals in Business Processes and Social Innovation.
Dr. Kotsalo-Mustonen received her Ph.D. in business marketing 1996 at the Aalto University in Helsinki, after having had a successful business carrier for 12 years. 1998 Dr. Kotsalo- Mustonen was invited to found and run a research institute called MAKES within the university. Research focused on Marketing and Knowledge Management with an emphasis on new knowledge creation of R&D in multinational companies. The position of most profitable research institute within the university was interpreted measuring the excellent ability to fill the knowledge cap the companies were experiencing. After three years the research Institute had secured its position and employed several people most with Ph.D. degrees so Dr. Kotsalo-Mustonen could return to business.
After her Master’s degree in 1980 her first sales and marketing job was at Nokia. Since then she has been invited to all jobs she has held:
- Management Consultant at Mec-Rastor (current PwC), specializing in innovative use of IT in business and creating business with IT
- Business Developer at Hewlett-Packard, responsibility of local VARs
- Director of MAKES Research Institute, founder and first director for three years
- Vice President at Fountain Park, a fore runner company in using web based tools within strategy processes and crowd sourcing
- Marketing and fundraising for John Nurminen foundation, pro bono for a year
- Development Director and founder at BSAG foundation, a new age NGO that succeeded in a new way to engage companies to participate with a business approach and heads of states into a rescue of the Baltic Sea.
- Associate in the X-Event Ltd, consulting and research on shocks and extreme events at business level.
Anna Kotsalo-Mustonen’s own two favorite achievements in her long carrier are the founding of MAKES Research Institute 1998 at the Aalto University and the founding of the BSAG foundation 2008 to save the Baltic Sea. The former because at the time in Finland only technology was considered important and ability to market what you had invented was not valued. MAKES provided research based support in marketing for companies. The latter, BSAG, because the whole foundation was based on a novel idea – a social innovation that has gained international recognition and it has become a platform for all levels of society from heads of state to single experts to participate with a true win-win manner into the protection of the environment. The work has been rewarded with two awards, one domestic and one international. The domestic is of making an unknown problem a phenomenon in Finland. The international award is a Golden Lion from Cannes for being able to involve all levels of society in all countries around the Baltic Sea to join the effort.
Dr. Kotsalo-Mustonen has been a frequent speaker in large variety of events from company specific events to visiting lecturer in the Aalto University and international seminars. She has updated her knowledge in courses e.g. in London, Berkley, Boston and Helsinki. She is fluent in Finnish and English and is able to work in Swedish and communicate in German. French and Italian languages are ‘work in progress’.